Get the genuine recipe ready for Cornish pasty week
PREP TIME: 10 mins (then resting pastry for 3hrs)
COOKING TIME: 50 -55 mins
IDEAL FOR: Car trips, picnics, snacks, lunches, dinners… or working in the mines
So, you’ve just got over Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day and National Toast Day (?!).
But wait, there’s more!
It’s Cornish Pasty Week, 23 – 29 Feb.
That’s right, it’s time to get your best crimping skills dusted off and ready for the BIG one.
The Cornish pasty
Pasties went down the mines, across the fields and out to sea.
Which is why they have the crimped edges so that the miners could hold onto them (there are no soap and basins down the mines!)
They could eat the hearty filling and discard the crimped pasty (if they wanted to)
The Cornish pasty’s name came west of the Tamar, in the county of Cornwall.
World’s fastest crimper
Yes, there is a competition for the fastest crimper.
Have you tried to crimp?
If you look at my photo’s, you’ll see it’s harder than you think.
So, the quest to find the world’s fastest crimper – only from bakeries producing genuine, certified, cornish pasties – can compete.
The world’s fastest fingers go head to head to see who can crimp the most pasties in 3 minutes.
It took me about 10 minutes to make a mess of the 6 pasties I made!
What makes a genuine Cornish pasty?
Often pasty recipes have been handed down, generation after generation.
But the Cornish Pasty Association have some guidelines.
- Roughly diced or minced beef
- Sliced or diced potato
- Swede (turnip)
- Seasoning to taste (mainly salt & pepper)
- The pastry can be shortcrust, rough puff or puff.
- But it has to be savoury and can withstand handling without breaking.
- It can be glazed with egg, or milk, or both, to give the finished pasty its lovely golden colour.
- The edges are sealed by crimping them to one side, creating the characteristic Cornish pasty shape.
- If it’s not crimped, it’s not Cornish.
The Cornish Pasty Association Crimping Method
- No meat other than beef.
- No vegetables apart from those listed can be used in the filling.
- There must be at least 12.5% beef and 25% vegetables in the whole pasty.
- All the ingredients must be uncooked when the pasty is assembled.
- Then slowly baked to develop all that famous Cornish pasty taste.
Fast Cornish pasty facts
- Approx. 120 million Cornish pasties are made each year.
- Cornish pasty producers generate around £300m worth of trade for the cornish economy.
- At least 2000 people work in pasty production.
- The familiar ‘oggy, oggy, oggy’ chant is said to have originated from pasty sellers or tin miners’ wives announcing the arrival of their freshly baked wares. The traditional acknowledgment was ‘oi, oi, oi’.
- Crib and croust are cornish words for a snack or a bite to eat.
- The popular cut of beef used in a cornish pasty is skirt.
- A skilled crimper will crimp on average3 or 4 pasties a minute, although 7 pasties a minute has been known.
- If a pasty is crimped by a left-hander it is called a cock pasty. Right-handed crimpers make hen pasties.
Do you have any interesting pasty facts? Or fillings that are not Cornish genuine but very tasty! Drop me a line or leave a comment…
- 500 g strong bread flour (I used plain flour and it was fine)
- 120 g lard or white shortening
- 125 g butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 175 ml cold water
- 400 g beef skirt, cut into cubes
- 300 g potato, peeled and diced
- 150 g swede, peeled and diced
- 150 g onion, peeled and sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste (2:1 ratio)
- Beaten egg or milk to glaze
- In a large mixing bowl., add the salt to the flourWith cold hands, rub the two fats lightly into flour until it looks like breadcrumbsAdd water slowly and mixture together and knead until the pastry becomes elastic (this can also be done in a food mixer)
Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 3 hours in the fridge (this is a very important in order to roll and shape the pastry)Throw some flour onto your workbench and roll out the pastry and cut into circles approx. 20 cm diameter
- Layer the vegetables and meat on top of the pastryAdd plenty of seasoning… it does need itFold the pastry over and crimp the edges together (see the Cornish Pasty Association guide in my blog)Glaze with beaten egg or an egg and milk mixtureBake at 165 degrees C (fan oven) for about 50 – 55 minutes until golden
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